Shaheen Applauds Outdoor Recreation’s Strong Economic Impact
**Report shows outdoor industry accounts for $51.5 billion in consumer spending and 432,000 jobs in New England**April 25, 2017
(Washington DC) – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), the lead Democrat on the Senate Small Business & Entrepreneurship Committee (SBC), applauded outdoor recreation’s significant economic contributions following the release today of the Outdoor Industry Association’s (OIA) Outdoor Recreation Economy report. The report shows that outdoor recreation accounts for $887 billion in consumer spending annually and 7.6 million American jobs. In New England, outdoor industry accounts for $51.5 billion in consumer spending, 432,000 jobs and $3.1 billion in state and local tax revenues. Shaheen led a bipartisan effort in Congress to require the federal government to measure the impact of the outdoor recreation on the economy, similar to other major sectors of the U.S. economy. President Obama signed Senators Shaheen and Cory Gardner’s (R-CO) legislation, the Outdoor Recreation Jobs and Economic Impact Act, into law in December 2016.
“The OIA report proves what we know: that outdoor recreation is one of the most powerful economic sectors in the country,” said Shaheen. “In New Hampshire, we know that preserving our natural treasures isn’t just good for the environment; it’s also a smart way to lift state and local economies. Today’s report underscores the need for the federal government to measure the outdoor recreation economy like other major sectors, and I am pleased that process is moving forward following my bipartisan legislation being signed into law. The Shaheen-Gardner law will help ensure that lawmakers across the country are informed of the significant economic contributions of outdoor recreation as they craft policy.”
Until recently, the federal government did not measure the economic impact of outdoor recreation, despite independent estimates including OIA’s report. In April 2016, following a letter from Sen. Shaheen, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell announced that the Federal Recreation Council will work with the Commerce Department’s Bureau of Economic Analysis to assess the economic contributions of the outdoor recreation industry. Shaheen’s Outdoor Recreation Jobs and Economic Impact Act ensures that this work continues in the future by requiring it in statute. The law also requires that the Commerce Department submit a comprehensive analysis to Congress capturing the outdoor recreation sector’s contribution to the economy.
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